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Report: Walmart targets ‘middle mile’ with automation

Walmart is reportedly piloting driverless vans in a very specific part of the supply chain.

According to Bloomberg, Walmart is testing Ford delivery vans equipped with self-driving technology from Silicon Valley startup Gatik at a distribution center in Rogers, Ark. The discounter is utilizing the vans to transport goods through the “middle mile” of the delivery process – when packages travel between warehouses or from a warehouse to a “last mile” pickup point.

Walmart reportedly intends to reduce its middle mile costs in half with automated vehicles. Bloomberg quotes Walmart CEO Greg Foran as describing automated middle mile deliveries as a “no-brainer.”

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